Razer, Qualcomm Reveal Edge Handheld

Razer announced its Edge cloud gaming console in partnership with Qualcomm and Verizon at RazerCon 2022. The Edge is counting on hardcore gamer appeal to stand out in an increasingly crowded mobile market when it launches in January.

For “Real” Gamers
Razer is heavily leaning into its gamer street cred, marketing the Edge as the “world’s first dedicated 5G handheld console” and “for gamers, by gamers.”

  • Edge is a tablet paired with Razer’s Kishi V2 Pro detachable gamepad
    • Integration with Razer’s Nexus app
    • Base model: $399
    • Founders Edition: $499 (includes $129 Razer Hammerhead earbuds)
    • Razer Edge 5G: Undisclosed price, but $549- $599 seems likely
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x Gen 1
  • Storage: 128GB, up to 2TB microSD
  • Display: 6.8-inch AMOLED 144Hz touchscreen
  • Camera: 5MP, 1080p 60fps
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, headphone jack
Stiff Competition
The Edge will not only be competing with other portable consoles, but smartphones, tablets, and even notebooks. 
  • Logitech G Cloud: At $349, Logitech & Tencent’s baby is less capable but has superior battery life.
  • Steam Deck: Starting at $399, Valve’s handheld has a significantly smaller screen and worse battery life, but packs the capabilities of a gaming PC.
  • Nintendo Switch: Its Lite variant starts at $199, with the console’s main advantage being Nintendo’s unique game exclusives.
  • Phones & Tablets: For around $100, you can buy a controller from a company like Backbone and get close to the same gaming experience on a more useful device.
Frankenstein’s Monster 
Qualcomm and Razer first teased the Edge almost a year ago, as a concept prototype without detachable controllers and a worse display. These changes and Razer’s muddled marketing raise a few questions.
  • The screen upgrade is good, but is the use of the Razer Kishi ultimately what Razer wanted, or simply what was economically feasible to produce for a January (notice Razer picked a month, not a date) launch?
  • Razer’s choice to recycle the Edge name is questionable at best
    • The original Razer Edge was a $999-1,499 Windows tablet that launched in 2013 and promptly flopped
    • While understandable to market the Edge as a “tablet,” it simply isn’t one in 2022
    • Flagship smartphones have similarly sized displays
Reach Exceeds Grasp
The Edge’s best-in-class display, camera, and detachable controllers are compelling and unique features for a handheld. But a higher refresh display and camera will negatively impact battery life and cost. Ultimately, Razer (and Logitech) will have to compellingly answer this question: Why should gamers buy a Razer Edge for $399 when they can spend $99 on a Kishi V2 to slap it on to their existing smartphone? 
Featured image: Razer